Premier League 2018/19 has been off to a rocking start, and some players have already made their marks in the first gameweek of the new campaign.
Manchester United kicked off the season-opener with a hard-earned victory against Leicester City. Then, on Saturday, Tottenham, Bournemouth, Watford and Crystal Palace got three points while Chelsea shined under new boss Maurizio Sarri. Wolves vs Everton and Southampton vs Burnley were the only draws from the first gameweek. A free-flowing Liverpool got the biggest win of the weekend while the showdown was graced by Manchester City who defeated Arsenal fair and square.
Let us now take a look at the best players from the first gameweek of this season.
It is a choice between Alex McCarthy and Wayne Hennessey, both having maintained clean sheets and providing brilliant performances for their sides. Our choice is going to be the Southampton keeper, for in our opinion, he faced a better attacking side and made as many as six great saves to keep the opponents at bay.
Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was probably the most effective centre-back of first gameweek. He had amazing defensive numbers (10 clearances, 4 important tackles and 3 interceptions) and he also scored the first goal for Spurs. He will be joined by James Tarkowski. A pivotal player for Burnley last season, Tarkowski started his new campaign in a similar fashion. As many as fifteen significant clearances against Southampton were good enough to earn him the second spot in our central defense. Other than this pair, Steve Cook, Nathan Ake, Eric Bailly and Jack Stephens also performed well.
There were several great performances from a few left-backs. Luke Shaw, Benjamin Mendy, Patrick Van Aanholt and Ryan Bertrand were all impressive in their respective matches. But, we had to award this spot to Jose Holebas, who not only showed great defensive prowess, but also contributed to both goals for Watford. His partner on the other flank is going to be Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The Eagles defender recorded 4 interceptions, 4 crucial tackles and 6 clearances, along with providing an assist in his team’s 2-0 victory over newly promoted team Fulham.
It was the most difficult task to choose the best midfielders. There were a lot of magnificent displays from some attacking-minded players, especially in the left flank. Most promising of them are surely Richarlison and Sadio Mane, both grabbing braces against Wolves and West Ham, respectively. We cannot but accommodate both in our best eleven, and that is why we choose to hand Richarlison the right-attacking-midfielder’s spot. The Everton player kept switching his positions and was effective mostly from the right. Mane, on the other hand, was Liverpool’s best player in the 4-0 domination over the Hammers.
The main central midfielder in this team is going to be Manchester United skipper Paul Pogba, who was the main player against Leicester City and was crucial in the centre of the pitch, both in terms of attack and defense. He will be accompanied by Ruben Neves. The Wolverhampton midfielder made a memorable debut in the British top tier. First, his astounding freekick gave his team a much-needed goal and then he recorded an assist to find the second equalizer for the promoted side. Thanks to Neves’s excellence, Wolves could start the season with a point.
Finally, we include Roberto Pereyra in the team. The Watford player scored both goals against Brighton and Hove Albion and was perhaps the best player of the weekend. Some other midfielders who were in good touch are Pedro, Ryan Fraser, Mo Salah and Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.
Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson was the only proper striker who provided amazing performance in first gameweek of this season. Albeit he missed a penalty, he was always menacing in the opponent box. And in fact, he contributed in both goals (one goal and one assist) for the Cherries. Thus, Wilson is going to be the sole forward of our team of the week, and that wraps up the top eleven.
Do you agree to the above best eleven from first gameweek? Comment below!
Photo by Ben Sutherland